Oakland's Purvis trying to sprint to the top at Texas A&M
As Ashton Purvis is finding out, it can be more than a little frustrating to be 21 and looking back at 18 as the good old days.
Trying to improve on the younger version of her is a process that has taken the former high school sprint star from Oakland across the country and back before settling in the middle.
Its not a lack of effort, said Pat Henry, Purvis coach at Texas A&M.
As a senior at St. Elizabeth High School in 2010, Purvis established personal best times of 11.17 seconds in the 100 meters and 22.90 in the 200 on the way to being named national high school track and field athlete of the year by two organizations. Her 100 time is tied for No. 8 in high school history and her 200 equals the No. 9 clocking.
Purvis took her sprinting talent to Miami in 2010-11 but injured her abdomen and ended up never competing for the Hurricanes.
It just didnt work out as well as I wanted it to, Purvis said. I went back home.
Purvis was home this weekend, competing with her A&M teammates in the Stanford Invitational on Friday and Saturday at Cobb Track & Angell Field. She was scratched from Fridays 100 and ran the second leg on the Aggies winning 4x100 relay Saturday, clocking 43.69 with teammates Jennifer Madu, Olivia Ekponé and Ashley Collier.
Im excited. I dont get to come home a lot, she said. I miss everything. Its good to be home.
After her Miami misstep, Purvis enrolled in 2012 at Laney College, where she was coached by Curtis Taylor, the man who had guided her career since the seventh grade. That year she won California Community College titles in the 100 and 200, and ran a leg on the winning 4x100 relay in leading Laney to the womens state championship.
At A&M, Purvis is in a competitive training environment with such sprinters as Kamaria Brown, Ekponé and Madu. At the 2013 SEC indoor championships, Brown broke the school record in the 200 at 22.73; in the next heat Purvis did her teammate one better by running 22.70. A year later, Brown trumped Purvis by running 22.50.
Im in a positive area, she said. I really want to PR; I want to be in the 11s. Its kind of frustrating. Im doing what I have to do to get there.
Henry said he enjoys having this Californian on his Texas A&M team, saying, Shes always a challenge. She has a good personality. She can be really outgoing and she can be reserved. Shes a fun one to be with.
John Crumpacker is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @crumpackeroncal